The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000.In fairness, I've always felt these numbers are a bit inflated. Still, the shortage is quite real, and as the article makes clear, much worse in the less desirable areas of the country to live and work. Being in a trendy cosmopolitan area, I have no trouble recruiting. In fact, I tend to be swamped with applicants. However, I know of many rural ERs where they have to pay recruiters exorbitant sums to induce a board certified ER doc to come work there. There are also many more ERs where no certified ER docs will work (or too few, in any case) and they wind up making do with family practitioners or docs with more dubious backgrounds.
On an unrelated note, the job market for midlevel health care providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants is booming.